Good behaviour reward for Mark
The last three months have been as eventful as the ones past, and even more so, as we move closer to the conclusion of our programme with the set of boys we took in last September. We are reminded daily not to judge a book by its cover, as we are amazed everyday by the changes in the children. It really is true that anything is possible 'when you believe'. Our partnership becomes a success when they start to believe in themselves too.
Most of our boys took the opportunity to go home for one weekend, to reconnect with their family, in preparation to their return home finally, after their programme with us. Three boys, whose families have been hard to reach, were unable however. We continue to make efforts to reconcile them, and have approached the appropriate government ministry in Lagos, to collaborate with on these interventions.
For those boys who were fortunate to visit their families, all but one had the fortune of going home for Easter break. One of them couldn’t because his grandmother, whom he would have stayed with is without a place of her own, and couldn’t accommodate him for such a long period. The others were happy and eager to go home for Easter and stayed for over a week, getting re-acquainted with family life.
The four boys who stayed back home still had a lovely Easter. They were invited over to have Easter Sunday brunch at a friend of the organisation’s home and had a really good time there. They were also treated to an evening outing to Silverbird galleria, where they enjoyed chicken and chips, and watched ‘Hansel and Gratel – the Witch Hunters’.
In March, one of the boys earned a reward for being the best behaved boy, and got to take a friend of his (from among FLA Kids) out to The Palms Shopping Complex, with Toju, one of our staff. They had a good time, doing some light shopping and playing games too. They also enjoyed ice cream, before accompanying Toju to a party they were all invited too. They enjoyed some barbecue chicken before returning to the Home.
On two occasions, Fair Life Africa was invited to represent its views on the street child problem live on radio. We were live on Unilag 103.1fm, with a father and his child, whom had been reconciled in 2012, and are happy at home now. Mr Labisi reported that things have not been the same since his child was returned to him, and that his behaviour is much improved. He’s been faithfully attending school, and doing well too. He even showed off his bronze medal, which he won at the inter-house sports.
Fair Life Africa was later invited by Radio Continental 102.3fm on the International Day for Street Children to discuss the phenomenon. We attended with two of the FLA Kids at the Home presently. They were asked some tough questions about street life and shared their views candidly. You can listen to the recording on our blog via this LINK.
Apart from one, the boys all came back to the Home and have resumed school, after the Easter break. Three of them have started their Senior Secondary Examinations. They have been studying very hard, and continue to receive tutelage from tutors in various subjects, as they prepare for each exam. The other boys continue to receive educational support from our support staff and dedicated volunteer, Yemi Adedeji, also.
One of the boys, however did not return to continue his schooling. While he was still home for the holidays, his grandmother called to inform us that he had not returned home from playing with the neighbours. We hoped to hear good news of his return the next day, but it appeared that he’d chosen the way of the street again, which is sad news to us.
We continue to follow up and support the families we have reconciled. We have been round to pay school fees for the two boys attending private schools. Eddy, a boy from the pilot programme, who ran from the domestic violence at home, is happy now because his mother now has a haven away from the abuse. He was staying with his grandfather, while he learnt the mechanic trade. Fair Life Africa helped his family to rent a simple accommodation, near enough to his sisters’ schools, and his mother’s job, to enable them to have a fresh start.
On this positive note, we conclude our report from the field. We hope to write to you soon with more testimonies from the children about their good behaviour in the home, success in academics and happy reconciliations. We will leave you with a link to James’ Story, which we posted on our blog. We hope that as you read their stories, you will be encouraged to inspire hope through giving… Every little helps. Thank you for being a supportive friend.
Following up on reconciled families